White checkmark = Whole lotta whole grains


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Shopping for healthy food just got a little easier. General Mills announced last week that it has reformulated its Big G cereals so that more than 50 of them now boast a white check indicating that they have more whole grain than any other single ingredient. Believe it or not, that means there are more whole grains than sugar in your Lucky Charms. (General Mills has been reducing its cereals’ sugar content, but at 14 g, Lucky Charms is still up there.)

The Dietary Guidelines recommend 48 g of whole grain a day, or half the grain included in the diet. The new labeling also highlights the grams of whole grain per serving on the side of the box to make it simple for consumers. Every General Mills cereal contains at least 9 g of whole grains per serving, and more than 20 of them offer 16 g or more.

Whole grains contain cereal germ, endosperm and bran, while refined grains only contain the endosperm. Consumption of whole grains is linked with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and reduced risk for Type II diabetes when compared with the consumption of refined grains.

The white-check cereals include Cheerios, Fiber One, Golden Grahams, Total, Wheaties, Lucky Charms, Kix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, among others. To see a list of all Big G cereals with the whole-wheat white check, click here.

Just remember that whole grains aren’t everything. Make sure to check the box for sugar content as well. The American Heart Association recommends men restrict their daily added-sugar consumption to 36 g and women limit themselves to 24 g. Keep that in mind when you’re deciding how much you want to include in your breakfast.